Having been described as The Black Keys meets The Black Crowes meets Led Zeppelin, McBane has come far in the short time that has passed since a few musicians in Athens, Ohio met up to jam together. Incorporating rock, pop and blues, McBane released their self-titled EP McBane in May of 2016.
The album begins with a sultry, reverb-laced electric guitar solo that bridges the best elements of rock n’ roll with a bluesy rhythm. As “You Gotta Have It” continues, crystal clear drums, resounding electric guitars and a gravelly, yet crisp voice blend in a solid, full soundscape. The hard, strict rhythm of the song complements the power of the chords that the guitars produce throughout the strong anthem.
Slowing down a bit, “Turn Away” takes a sway-inducing beat and pairs it with a melodious, cohesive song that gradually builds upon itself as vocal and instrumental harmonies are layered upon each other. Tediousness was avoided in the somewhat repetitive song by including slight variations of themes that catch the listener’s ear over and over again.
“77 in a 55” starts off with a foreboding guitar riff that rises in intensity as percussion and bass guitar add a foundation to the already solid track. The catchy riff repeats, being overlaid with vocals; then, in the middle of the tune, a downtempo section featuring guitar solos and ad libbing takes the sound stage before the initial riff returns and carries the song to its ending.
A voice screaming “Mendoza!” begins the song of the same name, a danceable, bluesy rock song that highlights McBane’s musical ability and technique as guitars run the show. This instrumental track gives the record a nice break from lyrics, making the lyrical tracks stand out more while simultaneously showcasing the band’s instrumental talent.
The record comes to an end with “Company of Kings,” an epic song that lasts almost seven minutes. Starting out very slowly with a sole guitar, the tune deliberately builds and builds its dynamic range without altering the tempo of the song, making for an interestingly intense, yet slow, conclusion to the album. As a whole, McBane EP is a well-polished, masterfully-produced album that transcends any expectations listeners would have for a band’s debut release, and it will serve the band well in their journey in the music industry.
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